Why do chickens take dust baths?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Flippacase, Apr 9, 2010.

  1. Flippacase

    Flippacase Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 6, 2009
    With the word "bath" in the name, you would think it would be to clean right?
    Well its raining here right now, and Gladyss is outside, rollin arouind in the dirt??? (she's silly)

    I figured if it wasn't to clean...it was to cool down...but its pretty chilly here....
  2. lambchicks

    lambchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 21, 2009
    North Carolina
    I don't know the answer to your question, but I can say that a "dust bath" is one of my girls favorite activity!
    Then they come up on the porch and shake all the dust on the cement... silly birds!
  3. Marie1234

    Marie1234 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 29, 2010
    It's to clean themselves.
  4. trunkman

    trunkman Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 26, 2009
    Rock Hill SC
    I think its also to keep mites and other parasites off them, I read that somewhere..
    gulfcajun 1 likes this.
  5. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    That's kind of what I thought too, although I don't know it for a fact...so I occasionally sprinkle about a cup of DE in their dustbathing area [​IMG]
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2010
  6. Opa

    Opa Opa-wan Chickenobi

    May 11, 2008
    Howell Michigan
    They dust bathe as a means to clean their feathers. Also getting the dust on the feather shafts and on their skin lessens mite infestation. You can take advantage of their proclivity for dusting by first locating a couple of their more used "dust bowls" and add some DE to it. I occasionally add some Sevin to it as well. It the easiest method to use to prevent lice and mites.
  7. Chieftain

    Chieftain Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 21, 2009
    They take dust baths for several reasons. First, the dust helps dry their feathers and clean any natural oiliness off. It think they also just like the feel of warm scratchy sand on their skin. Mine grovel in the sand and kick it all over themselves and each other. Today all four of them were out there in the same sunny square foot of sand having a blast...

    Adding some Feed Grade DE (Diatomaceous Earth) to the sand helps control mites and lice by dehydrating the little critters.

  8. redturtle

    redturtle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 3, 2010
    stanardsville, va
    i am guessing because it helps absorb some of the excess oils from their feathers...just a wild guess tho...lol
    The Angry Hen likes this.
  9. Wizbop

    Wizbop Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 27, 2010
    Greensboro, NC
    My little RIR are only 5 weeks old and when they came in today from their day in their run, they took extensive dust baths. It's so cute. They even roll their little heads around in it. [​IMG] Silly birds. I could barely come in to eat dinner because I was standing out there in the garage oooohing and aaaahing at the little sweeties.
  10. FarmerJamie

    FarmerJamie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 21, 2010
    My barred rocks hens take over the mulched flower/bush bed by the patio. I've given up on trying keep that area tidy, they don't get into any other bed than that one. Last weekend it looked like "girls day" at the beach (a real hen party) where the only things missing were fruity drinks with umbrellas in them.

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